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Saturday / April 13.
HomeminewsUK Funds Early Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Test

UK Funds Early Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Test

Scientists are developing an early test for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) – which is responsible for up to 75% of non-traumatic limb amputations in people with diabetes – using optical coherence tomography (OCT).

The research team from the United Kingdom, in collaboration with scientists from Qatar, has been awarded £1.4m (AU$2.6m) to create the early test.

Their innovative solution to screen for DPN is expected to enable early accurate diagnosis so doctors can intervene well in advance of severe complications such as foot ulcers and amputations.

The funded research will focus on developing an ultra-highresolution OCT device to detect DPN, specifically in the cornea – and the development of novel artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the prediction of DPN using corneal OCT images.

Early detection relies on being able to see small nerve fibres and the cornea is the only organ in which they can be directly visualised.

“Unfortunately, current clinically utilised tools to diagnose for DPN are crude and as such diagnosis is late, putting patients at risk,” said Dr Uazman Alam, from the University of Liverpool.

“The ability to assess small nerve fibres of the cornea has been a major advancement but widespread use has been limited as the current technique requires direct contact with the cornea. The development of a new OCT non-contact, rapid scanning of the cornea with embedded AI would be a major advancement,” Dr Alam said.